Morning Ketchup: iPhone Sets Record, Social Media Spending Soars, Product Review Regulation?

Welcome to Bridgeline Digital’s news-wrap post on our brand new Digital Engagement blog named “The Morning Ketchup.” It's a play on words, because we're clever like that. We’ll be periodically checking in with relevant (and entertaining) pieces found across the Internet about Content Management, Marketing, SEO Strategy, and General Business News. Our hope is this will become part of your morning, a detour you enjoy as you sip on your third cup of coffee before noon. And fear not, this space is not a one-way street: We want you, dear reader, to interact with us; tell us what you like, what you hate, and what you want more of in the comments section and on Twitter and on our Facebook page.

Monday's Headline

Apple crushed -- just absolutely demolished -- sales expectations for its 5C and 5S release, selling 9 million units in three days. Abram Brown, over at Forbes.com, has details of the record-setting weekend. 

Budget Planner: Social, Facebook Soars

Last week we broke down Macro Data from 2014 Marketing Budgets. In the numbers from Marketing Sherpa, we gleaned that 54% of marketers plan to increase their spending on Social Media, while only 3% plan to decrease their social media budget. This shouldn't come as a surprise, Gatner projects that by 2015, 50% of web sales will come from Social Commerce 

Over at eConsultancy, David Moth details findings from their Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing, conducted with Adobe, noting that Facebook accounts for nearly half of angency/business Social Media spending. 

2014 social media spending

Facebook is playing its part. Recent developments from the folks over at Zuckerberg-land have made the platform more business-friendly, such as Graph Searchlaunching a ROI-tracker at the beginning of this yearand policy changes in order to make the environment more amendable for businesses

Five-Stars? Product Review Regulation Is Coming

David Streitfeld of The New York Times had an interesting piece on Online product review regulation. We spoke about product reviews and Social Commerce during our latest webinar, "What Drives Conversions?" Its importance, as the article cites, is critical to revenue growth. 

"In a 2011 Harvard Business School study, a researcher found that restaurants that increased their ranking on Yelp by one star raised their revenues by 5 to 9 percent," Streitfeld writes. "A 2012 Gartner study estimated that one in seven recommendations or ratings on social media sites like Facebook would soon be fake."

So the incentive to "buy" positive reviews, either by making fake accounts or bribing customers with gift certificates, is certainly beneficial. But a yearlong investigation concluded with $350,000 worth of settlements from companies in a breadth of industries, including dentists, lawyers, even an ultrasound clinic.

This all goes back to Trust Marketing. The maxim "If you don't like what's being said about you, change the conversation" isn't as easy as it seems -- and that's mainly because the conversation is everywhere. Check out our offering from Digital Clarity Group to learn more about the Customer Maturity Model.

For the latest news and tips on Digital Marketing strategies, make sure to follow Bridgeline Digital on Twitter.

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